Hailed as the "land of the whirling dervishes (ascetics)," Konya is one of the oldest cities in the country. Situated in Central Anatolia, Konya served as the sole capital of the Seljuk Turkish Sultanate of Rome, which prospered from 1071 to 1275. As such, the city today is renowned for its dazzling Seljuk architecture like mosques, Ottoman medreses (schools) and theological seminaries that date back to over 800 years old.
One of Konya's most famous residents is Rumi, a Muslim poet and thinker who advocated Sufism. Today, Rumi's believers go by the thousands, and they congregate in the city because of its many mosques dedicated to the Islamic faith. Among these houses of praise are %u015Eemsi Tebrizi Camii, Alaaddin Camii, Aziziye Camii and %u0130plikçi Camii, which can be seen juxtaposed against new sleek buildings and tall skyscrapers.
Visitors coming in during December might witness the worship ceremony called Mevlevi Sema, in which Mevlevi dervishes spin for over 15 minutes, believing that this will establish a mystical union with the Divine.
At anytime of the year, Konya could be worth a visit for its traditional cuisine like the famous savory baked mutton and Konya Kebap (skewered meat). Lying just outside of the town is the famous Neolithic archeological site, Çatalhöyük.
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